Sunrun vs SolarCity

Jordan Grimmer
Jordan Grimmer | Senior Editor
Sunrun and SolarCity are two of the largest, most recognizable companies in the solar industry. Both of these solar giants have been in business for more than a decade and have helped hundreds of thousands of customers switch to solar. While Sunrun and SolarCity are somewhat similar in terms of what they offer, there are a few important differences to note.
 
Sunrun logo verified_user
#24 Sunrun
7.5 Overall Score
3.6
star star star star_half star_border
(1,629)
SolarCity logo
#83 SolarCity
4.3 Overall Score
2.7
star star star_half star_border star_border
(700)

Overview

Sunrun

Best Panels Available

Canadian Solar

Best Inverter Available

SolarEdge

Workmanship Warranty

20 Years

Equipment Warranty

25 Years

Payment Options Available
check Buy
check Lease
check Loan
check PPA
Time in Business

14 Years

SolarCity

SolarCity

SolarCity

10 Years

20 Years

check Buy
check Lease
check Loan
check PPA

15 Years

Ratings

Sunrun

Overall Score
7.5 of 10
Review Score
3.6
star star star star_half star_border
Value for Money
3.4
star star star star_half star_border
Quality of Product or Service
3.4
star star star star_half star_border
Company Trustworthiness
3.4
star star star star_half star_border
Likely to Recommend
6.3 of 10

SolarCity

4.3 of 10
2.7
star star star_half star_border star_border
2.3
star star star_half star_border star_border
2.2
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2.0
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2.4 of 10

Reviews

Sunrun

Number of Reviews
1,629
Review Breakdown
3.6
star star star star_half star_border
5 star
46%
4 star
16%
3 star
8%
2 star
6%
1 star
24%

SolarCity

700
2.7
star star star_half star_border star_border
5 star
30%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
7%
1 star
50%

Reviews for Sunrun

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

[email protected] Stockton, CA

We did considerable research prior to purchasing. Sunrun was far and above the competition. For our situation purchasing was the best option. Going through the link on Costco was an added benefit. Sunrun did everything they said they would when they said they would do it. Totally satisfied with this first class company and John our contact person.

1 month ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Michael Drake Toms River, NJ

Wasted my time! Set an appointment up at my local Costco. Texted me with the local rep to confirm my appointment. Waited 3 hours the rep never showed. Texted back to the two representatives on the text chain .. no response. It has now been over 1 month and I never heard back from anyone.

3 weeks ago

Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star_border

Sawyer D Ogden, UT

Thanks for allowing a system size under 3 KW. I was told you wouldn't for a loan, but for cash, you did. Haven't had any technical issues. I'm afraid if I did, I'd be on my own or face long long hold times. Also, your offer of move the panels for $2000 is too good to be true. They should have insisted on attic run for conduit. Very nice crew, they did offer some special install services, but attic run should have been seriously impressed on me.

2 years ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Nancy Wilson Estacada, OR

I had a great experience with SolarCity before they sold my contract to Tesla. The poor reviews echo my experience completely. I agree we should somehow band together. Tesla charges me every month for panels that haven’t worked since SolarCity sold me. I refuse to pay these robbers and my bill is huge and unpaid.

4 months ago

The Final Word

Availability
Sunrun and SolarCity both provide solar services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Sunrun also operates in Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, while SolarCity does not. However, SolarCity offers service in Oregon and Washington, while Sunrun does not.

Payment Options
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer a variety of ways for customers to get a solar energy system on their roof, including outright purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Sunrun has a bit of an edge in terms of solar leasing and PPA agreements, as the company pioneered those options and made them a large part of its business model today.

Equipment
Sunrun utilizes high-quality equipment from reputable manufacturers such as Canadian Solar and SolarEdge for its projects, while SolarCity manufactures its own solar equipment, including Tesla’s Solar Roof product, which is a unique option within the industry.

Installations
While Sunrun performs most of its solar installations with its own crews, the company will occasionally outsource installations on remote homes to third parties, which may lead to variance in workmanship quality and overall experience. SolarCity, on the other hand, does not outsource any of its installations, but some customers have reported problems with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties
With up to a 25-year equipment warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty, Sunrun offers lengthier product and labor coverage than SolarCity, which provides a 20-year equipment warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Battery Storage
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer battery storage options. Sunrun’s battery storage option is called Brightbox, and it can be purchased or leased. SolarCity provides Tesla Powerwall batteries, which are compact and made to seamlessly integrate with other SolarCity equipment, but must be purchased; there is no lease option.

Referral Program
Sunrun and SolarCity both offer a referral program. Sunrun pays customers $350 for each friend they refer to the company, while SolarCity offers a $250 referral payout.

Recommendation
Sunrun and SolarCity offer similar payment options and battery storage selection. Sunrun has a bigger service area than SolarCity, offers longer equipment and workmanship warranties, and provides a larger referral bonus. For these reasons, Sunrun is recommended over SolarCity for individuals who live within the company’s operational area.

Top Choice

Sunrun Logo
Sunrun

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